Posse key on creativity, competing

Leading up to the start of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s 2020-21 season, which starts Nov. 13, 2020, the league is publishing team previews.

These stories will highlight areas of focus for the respective organizations as well as players. We last featured the Osoyoos Coyotes and now highlight the Princeton Posse.

The Posse finished eighth overall in the KIJHL’s regular season standings with 27 wins. They swept the Summerland Steam in the Teck Cup first round playoffs and were tied at a game with the Kelowna Chiefs. Their focus heading into the season is continuing to build a creative group who thrives on competing every day.  Posse head coach-GM Mark McNaughton is always looking for players who can play with structure, but will also make hockey plays and win the games within the game.

McNaughton says this year is no different to others in their eyes. Players made decisions to play because they love playing the game.

“We want to foster that love for the sport, reward the players who have made the decision to play, and have fun every day,” says McNaughton. “We will have a younger group this season than we have had in awhile.  We are looking forward to working with a lot of fresh faces this season.”

The Posse has a small returning group, but one McNaughton describes as “high quality people who know what is expected of them every day.”

“We have no doubt that the leadership of guys like Trevor Gulenchyn (pictured left), Jake McCulley and Devin Watson will bring our young group along quickly,” he says.

McNaughton and his staff take the approach in which they put the game in the hands of their players. Combining hard work and hockey IQ, the Posse will be well prepared, especially playing in cohorts.

“It will be up to the players to figure out how to beat each opponent and apply that consistently,” he says.